A hedge fund’s buyout of television station operator Tegna Inc. was terminated after the deal failed to get Federal Communications Commission approval by a May 22 deadline.
Virginia-based Tegna operates 64 U.S. television stations, including Jacksonville NBC affiliate WTLV TV-12 and ABC affiliate WJXX TV-25.
Standard General L.P. agreed in February 2022 to buy Tegna for $8.6 billion but the deal faced opposition over several issues, including its impact on the Jacksonville market.
Apollo Global Management, which controls two other Jacksonville stations, agreed to provide funding to Standard General for the deal.
Funds managed by Apollo own a majority of Cox Media, which operates Fox affiliate WFOX TV-30 and CBS affiliate WJAX TV-47 and eight other stations.
That raised concerns that Apollo would be connected to four of Jacksonville’s six commercial television stations after the Tegna buyout.
The hedge fund contended that Apollo was only providing funding for the deal and would not have any ownership interest in the Tegna stations.
In February, the FCC ordered a hearing before an administrative law judge on the deal but did not say when the hearing would be held.
Tegna said in a May 22 news release the buyout agreement was terminated but did not say why the parties did not decide to extend the deadline.
CEO Dave Lougee said in the release Tegna is in a strong position financially to move forward as a stand-alone company.
“I am extremely proud of our Tegna colleagues for remaining focused on our business despite the distractions of a long-pending transaction,” he said.